The Xiong’an New Area in Hebei Province has unveiled plans to explore the use of the digital renminbi (central bank digital currency or CBDC) for cross-border e-commerce payments.
The Hebei province government has just issued the “China (Xiong’an New Area) Cross-border E-commerce Comprehensive Trial Zone Development and Implementation Plan” (中国（雄安新区）跨境电子商务综合试验区建设实施方案).
The Plan calls for “encouraging the use of renminbi for the pricing and settlement of cross-border e-commerce activities,” as well as the “exploration of digital renminbi for cross-border payments.”
The establishment of a “financial services system” in Xiong’an is one of nine key missions outlined by the Plan, which calls for a financial services system which “provides online payments and settlement, online financing, online guarantees and other risk controls to cross-border e-commerce transactions.”
The Plan also calls for “supporting bold innovation by relevant qualified financial institutions, payments organisations and third-party cross-border e-commerce platforms.”
The Chinese central bank announced in April that Xiong’an New Area was one of four cities where the digital renminbi was being trialled, alongside Shenzhen, Suzhou and Chengdu.
In a speech delivered on 25 July at the 2020 International Monetary Forum in Beijing Liu Jun (刘珺), president of the Bank of Communications, said that digitisation of the renminbi will be a necessary part of efforts to internationalise the Chinese currency in the digital era.